Municipal Structures Bill: discussion

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Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs

09 September 1998
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Meeting report

CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
10 September 1998
MUNICIPAL STRUCTURES BILL [B68-98]: DISCUSSION

SUMMARY
Most of the discussion revolved around the constitutionality of Chapter 1, Part 2 of the Municipal Structures Bill. This part deals with the types of municipalities that may be established. At the end of the day, however, no amendments to the Bill were made.

DETAILED MINUTES
Mr P Smith of the IFP felt that the typology of Part 2 (types of municipalities that can be established) was too restrictive. He argued for language that would allow the local government to establish municipalities on their own and not be bound by the national legislature. He wanted the municipalities determined by each different area.

An ANC MP countered by arguing that section 155(3)(b) of the Constitution allows the legislature to prescribe municipalities subject to nothing. Section 155(3)(b) states that national legislation must establish criteria for determining the type of municipality. The ANC MP added that the Constitution envisages a single national process.

Amendments
The Committee first decided to amend Clause 17, line 41 of the Bill. Line 41 reads: a municipal council must meet regularly. Ms M Verwoerd (ANC) felt "quarterly" would be more appropriate. The Committee decided to delete and add a new Clause 18. Chairman Carrim stated that, as it currently stands, Clause 18 is unclear and poorly written. The Committee did not add a new clause at this meeting.


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